In the United States there was a heated debate about the morality of slavery. Supporters of slavery in the 18th century used legal, economic, and religious arguments to defend slavery. They were able to do so effectively because all three of these reasons provide ample support of the peculiar institution that was so vital to the South.
The first African Americans that were put to work in Jamestown were not treated in the way that people traditionally think of early slavery. In fact they were treated just as the indentured servants that had come from England were treated. This does not mean that they were treated with any sympathy or given easy work, but that they just were not discriminated by the color of their skin. In the beginning of the 1600s all servants had the same dream, to one day be free. In 1641, a black slave by the name of Anthony Johnson, was freed and given his own land to start his new life as an American (Johnson et al, Africans, 39). At this point in time the only things that separated people were if you were an owner or a servant and if you were a Christian or not. At some point in the mid 1700s something changed the way that the colonists saw things. All of a sudden there was no longer equal treatment of white and black slaves, the darker the color of ones skin was the worse off their life became. In 1640, three slaves tried escaping to Maryland but were unsuccessful, when they were brought upon the court two of the
In a time period when women were considered inferior, as were blacks, it was unimaginable the horrors a black woman in the south had to endure during this period. African women were slaves and subject to the many horrors that come along with being in bondage, but because they were also women, they were subject to the cruelties of men who look down on women as inferior simply because of their sex. The sexual exploitation of these females often lead to the women fathering children of their white masters. Black women were also prohibited from defending themselves against any type of abuse, including sexual, at the hands of white men. If a slave attempted to defend herself she was often subjected to further beatings from the master. The black female was forced into sexual relationships for the slave master’s pleasure and profit. By doing this it was the slave owner ways of helping his slave population grow.
This paper discusses the experiences of African American Women under slavery during the Slave Trade, their exploitation, the secrecy, the variety of tasks and positions of slave women, slave and ex-slave narratives, and significant contributions to history. Also, this paper presents the hardships African American women faced and the challenges they overcame to become equal with men in today’s society. Slavery was a destructive experience for African Americans especially women. Black women suffered doubly during the slave era.
Following this African-Americans were always treated as unequal to the white male. They were segregated and found it utterly impossible to gain any ground in society. How could they? African Americans rarely got the opportunity to get an education or have a good job.
Slave as defined by the dictionary means that a slave is a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant. So why is it that every time you go and visit a historical place like the Hampton-Preston mansion in Columbia South Carolina, the Lowell Factory where the mill girls work in Massachusetts or the Old town of Williamsburg Virginia they only talk about the good things that happened at these place, like such things as who owned them, who worked them, how they were financed and what life was like for the owners. They never talk about the background information of the lower level people like the slaves or servants who helped take care and run these places behind the scenes.
Often times when talking about the institution of slavery in the United States of America, men are at the center of the discussion; whether they were owners or slaves, men are presented first. Black women are pushed in the background except for the most famous like Harriet Tubman and Sally Hemings. In North America, specifically the United States, more than six hundred thousand slaves were brought in from Africa and the Caribbean between 1620 and 1865, the laws regarding slaves were condensed into slave codes that varied from state to state. Female slaves usually received the worst of it. Abusing them was legal, since the were considered property and as long as the owner wanted, he could have his way with any women he chooses on the plantation. Female slave were subject to harsh punishment for refusing the advances of the master. As one of, if not, the most vulnerable group in America at the time, female slaves had more threats to their existence than black men.
In 1619, the first enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia. Their sole purpose was to work the fields picking and farming profitable crops such as cotton and tobacco. It is estimated that between 1700 and 1800 six to seven billion enslaved Africans were brought to the American shore (Slavery). Life as an enslaved African was more than tough, it was appalling. Slaves were prohibited from becoming literate, they were restricted in every aspect, whether it was in movement or behavior, and they were punished severely. Slave masters “took sexual liberties” with enslaved women, which was thought to be a tactic to procreate slaves (Slavery). According to that interpretation, slave masters were fueled to
Whites have always considered themselves superior to blacks, no matter if they were slave owners or not. Blacks were considered lower than humans, making them a main target of oppression of whites. So even when a small group of blacks were given their freedom, they weren’t truly liberated from the chains of slavery and oppression. Blacks were freed in the early 1800s, giving a limited amount of blacks the freedom they deserved. These blacks were usually rural, uneducated, and unskilled domestic servants who had to work hard to survive in the society that shunned them. Free blacks were still given restrictions and laws because of their status in society. In the early 1830s, a law in Virginia was made to prohibit all blacks from getting their education. They even took it to the level where free blacks who went out of state to educate themselves were not able to come back and return to their own state. The worst restriction was that blacks could not testify in court. When a slave owner claimed that a free black was their slave, they could not defend themselves, and would have to conform back to their slavery. Despite the terrible treatment given to blacks, some rose above the oppression and became successful, therefore achieving their goals and potentials of being a free black man, leaving a huge impact on society in the 1800s.
Slavery became an established activity in America by 1600’s. The slaves were mostly to provide free and cheap labor. Apart from America, slavery was practiced in other parts of the world throughout history, and in fact it can be traced back to the time of the ancient civilization. With industrial revolution especially with the rise of sugar plantations, the slaves were used to grow sugar in the periods from 1100. This intensified between 1400 and 1500 when Portugal and Spain ventured into sugar growing in the eastern Atlantic regions. The growth of the plantations required labor, hence African slaves were bought from Africa, to provide labor.
Slavery, The Compromise of 1850, and Bleeding Kansas all had huge effects in leading to the Civil War. Slavery is an obvious reason that the Civil War begun, the Civil War was about freeing the slaves throughout the United States. Secondly The Compromise of 1850 was also a reason it began because it upset the South. This compromised stated that the South could no longer expand making more slave states. Although it did stop the South from it also put a fugitive slave law into effect which meant all slaves in the North that had escaped had to be returned. They made this law because the North was trying to avoid war which obviously didn’t work the way they intended it too. Then lastly Bleeding Kansas also had an effect because it was the Civil
So many people wanted slaves, especially in the South. They had more farms than they could handle on their own. Northern owners wanted them because they would have to do less work. Very few owners treated their slaves nicely and paid them to do work around the house. They would not be treated like family but would get treated a whole lot better than your “typical slave.” Those kinds of circumstances occurred more in the Northern states than the Southern states.
The goal of the civil war was never originally to free slaves but slaves became a large part of the war. African American slaves overcame many challenges to finally receive their freedom. Many African Americans endured the chance to fight for the union and that immensely increased the man power of the union.
Slavery, especially in America, has been an age old topic of riveting discussions. Specialist and other researchers have been digging around for countless years looking for answers to the many questions that such an activity provided. They have looked into the economics of slavery, slave demography, slave culture, slave treatment, and slave-owner ideology (p. ix). Despite slavery being a global issue, the main focus is always on American slavery. Peter Kolchin effectively illustrates in his book, American Slavery how slavery evolved alongside of historical controversy, the slave-owner relationship, how slavery changed over time, and how America compared to other slave nations around the world.
In the Renaissance, slaves were starting to be used in plantations, mostly in America, but also in plantations in Italy and off the coast of Africa (Gascoigne). So, in both the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, at least some slaves were used for hard labor. The Portuguese were the first to put slaves to work in plantations, and slaves soon came to be used on plantations in the Americas by nations such as Spain, Holland, France, England, and the Netherlands. The first slaves they enslaved in these colonies were the native peoples, but soon, the native population began to dwindle. Since Portugal had been exploring the coast of Africa and since Africa had a booming population of people, Africans became the people they predominantly enslaved (Guild). Thus, racial slavery was started. Blacks came to be viewed as lower than human, and this view spread to all the nations which came to have plantations in America. Millions of blacks were imported to plantations for sugar, spices, tobacco, coffee, etc. during the span of the Renaissance (Hornsby).